King Charles III welcomed Emperor Naruhito and his wife Masako Owada to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday for a three-day visit to celebrate the cultural, economic, and diplomatic ties between the two nations.

“Your Majesties, my wife and I are so delighted to be able to welcome you to Buckingham Palace this evening,” the King told the Japanese royals at a state banquet on Tuesday. During his speech, he also made a rare reference to his grandchildren—seemingly referencing their appreciation for Japanese pop culture—while discussing his friendship with the Emperor and their previous experience fly fishing together. 

“I am only sorry to report that I haven’t had any better luck with more recent attempts at fishing—the Pokémon phrase ‘gotta catch ’em all’ may resonate with my grandchildren, but for me it is, perhaps, aspirational,” the King said. 

Charles has five grandchildren. His eldest son, Prince William, who is married to Kate Middleton, is dad to Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, Prince Louis, 6.. Meanwhile Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are parents to Prince Archie, 5, and Princess Lilibet, 3.

Charles Japan Pokemon

The King also expressed his deep desire for continued cultural exchange between the two island nations, which he said would enrich the creativity of both countries. After discussing how delighted he had been with Japanese influence on British arts and culture, he named films such as The Boy and the Heron and Spirited Away, which has been re-imagined as a stage show and is currently gaining strong reviews at the London Coliseum theater. Charles also made note of a famous Japanese icon that had British roots. 

“Perhaps you would allow me to note one particular individual who turns 50 this year, raised in a London suburb with her twin sister, the self-made entrepreneur worth billions of dollars and a Unicef children’s ambassador on top of all that. So I can wish a very happy birthday to Hello Kitty,” he said humorously, leading to many chuckles from the audience.